Monday, July 20, 2020

Chennai airport operates minimum no. of flights, stares at a huge loss

Chennai: Chennai airport is staring at a huge loss of revenue as it operates a minimum number of flights compared to the other major airports because of the restrictions imposed by the state government on flight schedules. Consequently, the airport handled less than 1% of passengers, 34,211, in the April-May period this year when compared to the 36lakh corresponding period last year.
The number of passengers handled by all major airports was negligible when compared to what they used to be handling. Still, Chennai remains at the bottom of the list of metro airports in terms of total passenger traffic hinting that the state government had been hesitant for fear of spread of infection to allow passengers to land at city airport.
This is the reason Chennai airport has fewer flights from the US or Europe than in Bengaluru under the Vande Bharat schedule announced last week.
Statistics from Airports Authority of India (AAI) showed that Delhi airport handled 2,15,809 passengers, Mumbai handled 57,000, Bengaluru handled 74,298 passengers in April-May period for this financial year. Kolkata handled only 16,253 passengers. The percentage decline in passenger movement when compared to the corresponding period in 2019-20 is 99%.
An official said that the airport usually earns an annual revenue of Rs2,000crore.
“It is going to be meagre this year as flight schedules and passenger numbers have not come back to normal yet and we have already lost four months this year. It looks like it will take at least November for some semblance of normalcy to return when it comes to the number of flights and high footfalls at the terminals.” The landing and parking fee has just started to come in while airlines have started to ask for waivers for parking fees during the shutdown time when domestic flights too were suspended.
20/07/20 V Ayyappan/Times of India
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